If the skill for baking will be evaluated from 1 to 5, five points being outstanding, my self-evaluation reveals I fall under 0.43 points. And the only flour-based dish that I can prepare are plain pancakes. Not those pancakes made from basics and scratch but those instant type of varieties of pancakes. Those that you just add 1 egg and water and voila! Pancakes!
Bread products I consume are always those that are available from a nearby bakeshop or grocery store. Thus, the unhealthy ones. But now that I am in ketosis and has been doing a ketogenic diet, one food item that I totally miss is the bread. The white, fluffy and unhealthy kinds of bread! And this deprivation has gone me nuts!
I am no food blogger nor am I a baker! And this is definitely not a keto food blog. But I would just like to post the first bread that I have baked since birth…
It’s a 90-second microwaved oven keto mug bread! Hahaha! Trying to make keto diet fun… Yoohoo!!!
Let me formally announce to the planet that I am in ketosis. Yes. It has been since February 26, 2019 that I decided to try ketogenic diet. And it has been a grueling struggle to keep under ketosis.
Reason behind this is because I live in a country that is infested with sugar and carbohydrates, the two fatal enemies of this zany diet. Filipinos like me will definitely go insane if their meal does not include rice. Rice is in every Pinoy meal from breakfast, to lunch to dinner and even up to midnight snack. Even desserts of Filipinos can be made of the scandalous rice! For Filipinos, rice is life!
With regards to sugar, the Philippines has the sweetest varieties of tropical fruits on the planet and only a limited number of cooked dishes are not laced with sugar here in my country. In fact, it is a well-known fact on the entire planet that only in the Philippines can you find a sweet spaghetti. Hello Jollibee! And even the world renowned Filipino Adobo, for it to taste even better must be spiked with the notorious sugar.
Philippines also is so unlike the western countries where keto friendly food and dishes are easily available. Hello Whole Foods Market! Aside from being so insanely expensive, It is really a struggle to maintain and retain under ketosis. In fact, for the last fourteen days that I have been in ketosis, I have survived four social events – including that of Nengkoy’s big birthday party – where cakes, pastas, rice meals and sweet drinks were highlighted.
I can actually consider that my reduction in the consumption of sugar and carbs was even harder than when I stopped smoking. It is because I was born and grew up consuming these that resulted to an autopilot sagacity of my whole persona for rice and sweet treats. It is unlike smoking, which I started when I was an adult and ceased puffing nicotine also during adulthood. It is therefore not surprising that I had the worst cold turkey when I was starting ketogenic diet otherwise known as the keto flu for the ketogenic language!
But I guess for every struggle, there is like what Ms. Universe Catriona Gray consider as the “silver lining”. It has been only fourteen days yet I already lost a whopping 12 pounds!
Last weekend, I and my whole family celebrated Nengkoy’s 82nd birthday. And every year, we make sure that Nengkoy’s birthday is celebrated in a grand way. The whole family would spend overnight in an opulent resort out of town.
But this year was a little different. Though it was still an overnight out of town, it is now held not in a luxury resort but at a more private place. The venue this year was a little different and a lot farther from Manila. It was a 5-hour travel by land. We held it at the super huge and lavish house of Thatcher and Alexis, my niece and nephew-in-law or the two of the plenty grandchildren of Nengkoy.
And like every other year that was, this year’s celebration was a blast. And an addition to the already huge family has joined us, our little boy Arziolo joined the fun filled celebration.
Nengkoy gave us a scare last year when she suffered from some numerous serious ailments. We hope that this year would be a very good year for Nengkoy health wise. The whole family only has two wishes for her. That would be good health and continuous luck in her mahjong exploits.
I think I am a rare Filipino breed. Reason behind this is because I cannot sing!
When I was in Jerusalem, I was able to meet a bunch of cool Jews in a coffee shop who were celebrating Purim. My sister Ester who toured with me decided to stay in the hotel to read about the Holy Bible’s Queen Ester, her namesake.
These young Jewish people were surprised to know that I was a Filipino travelling as a tourist in their country. One guy then uttered to the group that Filipinos seem to have the genes for good singing voice. The whole bunch of these cool happy people then started teasing and entreating that I should sing a song for them.
I tried doing it but they obviously did not liked what they’re were hearing. I stopped and did not finish. I was like Cameron Diaz singing “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” in the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding. After my singing, they were gracious enough to clap their hands while doubting if I am really is a Filipino and simply moved on and continued on with the Purim revelry with me.
I remembered all these when I happen to bumped into a fascinating YouTube video regarding a joint where hundreds of strangers inside the pub would learn and sing together a popular pop song. Watch this…
Internet indicates that Pub Choir phenomenon started two years ago in Brisbane, Australia and the fun and fascinating concept/activity has been booming and expanding all throughout the Land Under.
And if this phenomenon would finally arrive here in Manila, I would be one of the few Filipinos who could not sing would enlist and would definitely sing my heart out in this event. I and my rare kind of Filipino breed would definitely unleash the Cameron Diaz in all of us!
I would like to believe that I have some level of proficiency on determining what and how good food would be like. My taste buds know how to ascertain and adjudicate what good food is.
And though I love cakes and may seem to have the sweetest tooth on the planet, I have never been a fan of Red Velvet cakes. And though I have yet to encounter a Red Velvet cake that makes my taste buds do a double-somersault with one and a half twists in the free position, I think I just had one that is the most remarkable.
But my appreciation of this Red Velvet was not due to my taste buds doing a standing ovation but it was my sense of sight that makes me rejoice and be delighted towards the cake I was consuming. I was at awe about the look, design and colors of Vanilla Café inside Kamiseta Hotel located in Baguio City, the tourist summer capital of my country.
I guess this is the cutest café I have seen in Baguio. The interiors were so stunningly pretty, it will definitely put some very sweet delicious smile on every one’s faces. The café was so visually attractive, the happiness it ignites would surge towards all the other senses making all dishes they serve to be so happily pleasant and appealing.
Vanilla Café have seem to possess some enchanting potion that smoke-screened my usually resplendent sense of taste. I actually could no longer recall if the Red Velvet I had was good or mediocre but what I know is that I was smiling while consuming it inside Baguio City’s lovely and bewitching Vanilla Café.
It is early morning and it is Valentines. It is early morning and it is Valentines and I am trying my very best not to be the grumpiest, old and solo living creature on the planet. I have been for the past years!
This day this year, I am changing gear and is trying to rewire my nutty brain. I chose not to be bitter. I am not the rebel heart this year for I chose not to maltreat those who loves celebrating this day. I was a success of not wearing all black today. And I actually was able to control my emotions of not kicking and smashing the Valentines heart designs in my gym last night!
Though living solo and celebrating Valentine’s today solo, I would like to put my bearing and my outlook on a very positive note. I will treat this year’s celebration on a more amiable light. Because of this, let me greet everyone who happens to read this post a very Happy Valentines! I hope you stay in love and celebrate this day all throughout the year!
Ayoko magpaka-ampalaya ngayong taon, para maiba naman!
While I was growing up, there was one fish that has politically been used as a benchmark in terms of determining my country’s economic inflation rate and the people’s purchasing power. It was a Filipino staple that resulted to having the first female president in Asia and the Time Magazine’s Woman of the Year awardee. It was the increasing price of this measly poor-man’s fish that was used to ignite in toppling a dark authoritarian regime that resulted to the triumph of a peaceful people power revolution.
This fish was the mundane and inglorious Galunggong (known in the US as the Round Scad Fish). This fish is so cheap, so common and so trivial you will never see this served as part of the menu in any grand or special Filipino banquet feast. Some Filipino folks would not even eat it because they consider it as the fish of the poor and the low-class.
But the sordid, meek and lowly fish seem to have an ally in revamping its unfortunate and underprivileged image. It is the 35-year old Filipino restaurant called Bistro Remedios.
I think Bistro Remedios is the only prime-quality restaurant in the metro that carries a Galunggong dish in the menu. I have yet to know or encounter an equally ingenious restaurant of the same caliber that serves this variety of fish.
Bistro Remedios serves Galunggong and they simply call it Piniritong Galunggong. I recently got an interest of trying one and it was one surprisingly beautiful dish that was served on my table.
I consider Piniritong Galunggong to be the chic and dashing version of this common fried fish. It is actually a complete meal. It is served with a special rice cooked in coconut milk and also comes with the savory-flavored Filipino shrimp paste mixed with crispy tiny anchovies.
The presentation, the plating and the big portion definitely exceeded my expectations. Those fresh sliced tomatoes and banana leaf bedding definitely added beautiful colors to what could have been a plain looking dish. The sautéed shrimp paste with anchovies was packed with flavors while the special coconut milk rice was a real big surprise to the palate.
The Galunggong fish was definitely the highlight of this dish. It was crisp, meaty and flavorful. And for those who hate eating bony fish, Bistro Remedios’ kitchen painstakingly got rid of the fish bones! The fish served were boneless!
Bistro Remedios (who was the inventor/creator of the now-very-famous Binukadkad Na Plapla which almost all Filipino restaurants seem to serve now) definitely did a great job on introducing and carrying Galunggong in their menu.
Chomping on the fish seem to brought back childhood memories and of living simple and joyous lives in the past. This dish was a definite glorious gastronomic experience! And after having my last bite, I was already planning on when to order it again.